Leaves offer the beautiful colour of fall. But sadly, those leaves are starting to fall en masse now. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Leaves offer the beautiful colour of fall. But sadly, those leaves are starting to fall en masse now. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

LANGLEY GREEN THUMB: Fall work ongoing in the garden

By Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times

As the leaves come down daily now, there seems to be endless jobs to complete before it gets too cold outside!

If you have a lot of deciduous trees, the raking can keep you busy for a few weeks as most trees lose their leaves a little at a time, at least until we get a very hard frost.

We grow several varieties of Japanese maples in our garden and the beauty of the fall colours have made this a much nicer season already. It’s sad to see the leaves fall on those – but many children like to collect them and keep them as long as possible.

When I was little, I would press the leaves in books and check on them every few weeks – I guess I loved trees even back then.

We have had several questions about planting trees at this time of year.

Yes, now is a great time to plant – either decidous or evergreen.

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Evergreen hedging, especially cedars, require regular watering until they get established, so planting in what is normally our “rainy” season is great timing.

If you are planting a new hedge, first and foremost make sure that you have a deep enough trench dug for the trees.

Whether you get the trees in pots or in burlap, the hole you dig for them should be deeper and wider than the root ball on the tree.

The soil beneath the root ball should be loosened and have added organic material, such as compost, in the hole/trench. Try to add some extra organic matter in between the trees as well, water them in and keep an eye on them.

If there is no rain in the forecast, water.

Truly, the key to a thriving hedge is plenty of moisture for the first two or three months after planting – giving the trees a chance to settle in, develop some new roots and get over the stress of being moved.

We have seen too many hedges die because they did not get proper watering when planted.

Most vegetable gardens are coming to an end, with a few items like parsnips still out there because they are best after a frost. Broccoli, cabbage, and kale are also great vegetables for fall – as they can survive in the cooler weather for quite some time.

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While Halloween is now behind us, if you have any pumpkins left over, check with anyone who has chickens because they would love the pumpkins for them. Chickens absolutely love pumpkins.

With all the extra time spent in the garden this year due to everyone being home more, don’t despair about fall and winter – there will still be plenty to do outside.

Snow is the only thing that holds us back from working outside – and then we take that opportunity to browse gardening catalogues and websites with ideas and plans for next year.

So you see, for gardeners, the work never ends!


– Pam Erikson is owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials and president of the Langley Garden Club



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